It was a delight and honour to be invited to Park Lane Special School in Trecynon, Aberdare in South Wales, U.K., for their brilliant book launch #ridingthesensorysonicslide. It's a book full of beautiful poems written by student sensory specialists & multi-sensory mixologists. The welcome I received was incredible, and the fact that they were so happy to have me as a disabled author attend melts my heart! The children were amazing, some read their poems on stage, and I heard a mixture of genuinely emotional and funny poems! Then we were treated to a blistering three-song musical set by the school band, and they rocked the place!
The book #ridingthesensorysonicslide has been edited by Amy Neilson Smith, the Creative Director, Resident Poet and Sensory Poetry Educator of 'A Blind Bit Of Difference.' An Inclusive Arts organisation registering as a National' disability arts' charity running Inclusive Arts Sensory Workshops in disabled and non-disabled schools.
Here is the website for 'A Blind Little Bit Of Difference' - https://www.ablindbitofdifference.co.uk/home.
I was suddenly introduced to Amy by a mutual friend, and I'm delighted to have met her. What Amy does is so vital in educating children and the wider society is that it is 'O.K' and acceptable to be different and never to judge someone until you truly get to know them. I witnessed this whilst attending Park Lane School. Seeing the pupils express themselves and bring their true personalities to the surface by using their heartfelt words, colours, smells, sensory and mixology to tell their own stories was so magical. This again strengthens the notion that we, as disabled people, never need to change anything about ourselves to 'fit in', but the world around us does. So remember to #alwaysbeyou AND NEVER CHANGE!
So, now on to reviewing this wonderful and charming little book itself. It's colourful and imaginative! I believe every child's imagination should be left to run wild freely; this is no different from what happens in this book. Brilliantly, using senses such as sight, touch and smell allow the children to express themselves through words. As an author and writer, this instantly puts a smile on my face seeing the children being so creative whilst expressing so many emotions that may not easily come to the surface. Overall, the book reminds me of a situation where an artist freely throws a concoction of coloured paint onto a blank canvas, resulting in a colourful masterpiece. Reading through the poems, the children speak about pop candy, monsters, dragons, New York taxis, orange aliens, rainbows, pots of gold, and even rat poo! All of these profoundly imaginative poets have certainly inspired me and shown that deep down in every one of us. There is so much love and hidden talent. We need to teach the world how to embrace our differences. Only then the world will become a more inclusive one.
Seeing all the wonderful children willing and excitedly getting up on stage to read their poems aloud and perform as a band. This was such an emotional experience. Watching these truly talented people show off their true talents has proved that our disabilities are only a tiny part of us. Whether they are physical, learning or mental disabilities. Those kids smashed it.
It's now time we showed the world what we can do by pushing for more representation within our society and, most importantly, in the media.
Unfortunately, I don't have any links to the school's book yet, but I will get one soon. So please do contact them directly and get their book today!
This particular day is indeed a memory I will always treasure,